img_7764Napier is a quiet town, except for the road works but put on a very passable dinner at MED in the Masonic Hotel. An easy walk back to the Bella Vista.

Breakfast at Cafe Divine was also pretty good, we've had a good run in Napier, long may this continue.

The run back on the Napier - Taupo highway is fast and Mary is getting better with the traffic which luckily is quite light. It's very scenic but the strong winds need concentration. We've also put the liners back in the kit as it is very cold despite the sun as we get up into the hills.

Tarawera's pub cum cafe is unfortunately undergoing refurbishment and the img_7767carpenter (a Harley owner) is highly taken with the Spyder. So no cuppa and yet another go at refining the pitch. We may have to print handouts.

Lunch in Taupo is interesting in that we meet a couple motorcycling with his and hers Harleys. they have some interesting tips for touring in the South Island which we will make use of next time. Amazingly he has not only seen a Spyder but actually ridden one.

As we are poised to leave Taupo when an old friend from Bombay comes into the cafe, he's just off on his Triumph for a tour of the South Island. This seems an incredible coincidence so we sit and compare notes for a while.

I think Mary is getting fed up with the slow speed as the Taupo - Rotorua road is taken at speed. 100kph? No problem officer.

img_7771Neither of us have stayed in Rotorua for years, probably since the kids were little, and it has changed out of all recognition. Our first choice, another Bella Vista, is well, well away from the main drag and the surroundings are all a bit seedy so that gets flagged and we head to the information centre and yet another enquiry about the Spyder.

Improbably the Information Centre's recommendation is the Novotel which, to my surprise, is very good and even finds a hiding place off street for the Spyder (and the Beemer). They ship the kit upstairs and I have to say the service is first class.

Drinks at Sammys followed by dinner at the Seismic Gastrobar, both over the road, are all first rate. You can even buy a half bottle of wine at Seismic which is a first for me in NZ and very welcome.


Friday the 13th and Sesmic conspired to 'get' Mary. The aftermath of the scallops was vary nasty, several bathroom trips ensued. "A lovely way to end the holiday" she says. I was unhelpful and slept through I'm afraid.